Magazine for professional home renovators.

Readers respond to Mike Holmes’ comment that 70% of contractors are “bad” and 10% “ugly”

In this video clip, CANADIAN CONTRACTOR’s Rob Koci and Steve Payne dip into the mail (um, e-mail) “bag” for some contractor reaction to our recent articles on Mike Holmes. In an interview published in the November issue of Reader’s Digest, the “third most trustworthy celebrity in the world” (behind Morgan Freeman and Ron Howard, according to Forbes magazine) dumps – yet again – on his fellow contractors. He says only 20 per cent of them are “good,” 70 per cent of them are “bad” and 10 per cent of them are “ugly” (presumably, he meant the quality of the work they do).

Posted by
Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. Rkoci@bizinfogroup.ca 647 407 0754
115 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I once worked for a contractor who hit upon a great idea to instill a dose of reality into his clients about the potential “surprises” that inevitably crop up when doing a reno. He would lend them a copy of a movie called “Mr. Blandings builds his dream house” with Cary Grant. This movie was also remade as “The money pit” but the original is funnier and is as apt today as it was when made back in the 50’s. It’s a must see for all contractors and clients.

  2. I am always amazed at these two issues with HonH.
    1) The guilt, greed and consequential stupidity of the customer (a responsible? adult) picking a contractor driving an 85 VW Rabbit with a 4′ AL stepladder bungy corded to the roof to do his ‘full renovation of the Xth floor’ for $50,000 cheaper than the bona fide contractor(but as the homeowner asks….”how much can I save if I pay you cash?”. Then after the dogpile mess is left, Holmes is there heaping sympathy on the poor,, poor innocent homeowner…..
    2) Yes, let’s look a the real cost of the job the HonH’s repairing. Most people spend $40-50,000 on a car that sits collecting rust in their front yard for 23 3/4 hours a day for an annual expense cost of $10,000 and over 5 years a 50% depreciation cost for a a total of $75,000 but think NOTHING of spending/wasting this money…….yet no %#@amn way am I spending that much on a contractor/tradesmen to begin with …….and now with Holmes the public STILL does not know what a fair, safe and legal job costs….
    Most small contractors/self employed tradesmen loathe his show now because of the way he vilifies the tradesmen to the point they are all lumped into one pool of SOBs……while of course patting the moron that picked the $50,000 lower price to begin with that is TOTALLY without culpability in this whole mess and holds them up to be such a poor, poor innocent victim……..your reap what you sow!

    • what I got from your rant was some common sense insights and alot of whining

  3. I don’t know about anyone else, but we’re one of the 20%. The cream always rises to the top. But then, so does pond scum.

  4. Spade a Spade.

    I stopped watching Holmes, to be candid, because though his interior work looked ok to me, his exterior was full of foolish and amateurish techniques and he simply didn’t know the basics of exterior work.

    Robert– Please let me know when you want me to sit down and do an article about some of his outdoor work–going through video after video. Decks with some floating and some footings permanent, fence boards cut because they put the rails in the wrong height, no space between the boards and ground–(so the fence gets pushed out of the ground and torn to pieces), and of course–putting the fence boards on with screws.

    Glass Houses… Stones.

    L

    • I have had experience with at least 2 clients who were former Holmes T.V. clients. I was hired to remove the work done “properly” and redo the job as the client requested/needed. I mean linoleum in the bathroom for a handicaped woman? Really Mike? And the rest of us are the bad contractors…. right.

      • Why knock the man do you think he does not know what he’s doing? I don’t agree with all contractors mindsets either but face the truth some people cut corners and he points them out. I pay no one for work on my house and I think it’s a free society to voice your opinions but where does that get you? Jealousy gets people no where. My biggest thing is why spray foam everywhere?

      • I call b.s. on the linoleum. I’ve never seen Holmes put anything that inexpensive in one of his renos. ;-)

  5. I am SICK of Mike Holmes. It is far easier to criticize other peoples work without knowing all the facts. I’ve watched his show and found things he is lame about. It must be nice for him to do his job without any concern about the money or time spent doing it. He even throws in all kinds of extras for free. My summary is 70 % of homeowners are at fault. 20% of contractors are at fault and 10% are a—holes like Mike Holmes. Get him off the air. Only 1% of the people could afford him in the real world.

    • Howard u and I would get along real well, because what you wrote is 100% good with me. I would like to add you never see him do any real work on the show but he sure likes wrecking things. I’d go man to man on him any time any job site any job. His customers bring out the violins because some fly by night does a job for $4000 bucks and mike makes it right for $50,000

    • Mike Holmes Is a movie star !

      • Movie Star ?? Archie Bunker ? Godzilla ? Freddy Krueger ? Add your own choice. Get rid of him. Mote guys like Brian Baumler would be OK

  6. Well so 80% of us do not cut the mustard,shame on Readers Digest for printing that garbage.I wonder how many clients/customers are aware of past endorsement fees and requests for percentage of sales on products that where promoted on TV.

    Please use Michael S. as my name in the comment

    • It’s “cut the muster” – just sayin'”

  7. Mike Holmes would never make it out there in the real world, His prices would be so astronomical! It is easy to criticize when you are just preaching. Those who know – do, those who don’t – teach!

  8. It would be nice to see Holmes wear a hard hat once in awhile.

    I wonder if he would be in business if he ever had to compete in the real marketplace. He is sponsored and supplied for marketing purposes. I do not think he could compete with a good contractor doing good work. He is all marketing hype.machine and can promote charity causes due to his marketing machine, not his contracting business. There is no need to run down the many good people in the building industry.

    • you should bone up on what the media has to do to make a living. of course it is not all straightforward thats how they put on a good show.

  9. For the most part I think Mike Holmes blows dog for constantly pitching his super hero status!! There is no doubt terrible tradesmen like there is terrible lawyers and accountants etc. The whole point is Darwin ! By no if people still do not understand that they need to perform due dilegence. Tough
    Ask a friend for a reference
    Then ask the contractor about their last 3 jobs and if you can contact them
    Google the guy, Facebook him. You can do a this stuff without even leaving your kitchen.

    Reputation is everything to a legit contractor because you are only as good as your last job with reference.

    Back to Holmes let people know it costs money to actually get quality work done.

    • because there is alot of corrupt tradesmen that’s why his show is such a success its capitalizing on what some people pass for contracting work. I have bought an awful lot of used cars and for that I pay a fee to the seller. I have made some good purchases and some really bad onen Tell me thats not how it it in the construction industry?

  10. Has nobody stopped to consider that for Holmes to make such a statement, he would have to be aware of every job undertaken in Canada? An honest statement would begin with “From the work I’ve seen….” There are thousands and thousands of clients that are perfectly happy with their contractors, and in some cases loyal to a fault. Tarring everybody with the same brush does nothing but create a hostile environment between clients and contractors at the outset.
    Because his show revolves around fixing someone elses screw ups, he needs to paint himself as the guy on the white horse. I want you all to consider the thousands of calls that were never made because of the competent and capable tradesmen that are currently in the market today who do it right already.

  11. Mike Holes IWOULDN’T GET HIM TO BUILD MY DOG HOUSE!!! ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS.
    He knows everything about nothing!!!!!
    You get what you pay for!!!
    AS John Ruskin an Architect once wrote:
    Its unwise to pay too much.
    But its worse to pay too little.
    You lose a little money…that is all.
    When you pay too little,
    You sometimes lose everthing.
    Because the thing you bought was incapapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
    THE COMMON LAW OF BUSINESS BALANCE PROHIBITS PAYING A LITTLE AND GETTING A LOT-
    IT CAN’T BE DONE.
    I think there is 75 percent good contractors 25 percent bad clients!!!!

    • sounds logical

  12. it’s easy to fix someone elses mistakes even more so when money doesnot matter
    client s normally have no idea what it really takes to do a job-if they did they would do it themselves
    If he’s so prefect why isn’t he in the real world of contracting?

  13. Wow there are a lot of harsch words here for Mike Homes. I never meet the Man but would like to but him up to a changes on a real live Job to see how good he really is.
    Thx
    The Reno Caoch

  14. I have read the comments about Mike Holmes. Actually i like the show and I take it as the entertainment that it is though. I appreciate his attention to detail, however his educating the”homeowner” leaves much to be desired. How can you in a hour with tidbits of information inform anyone of the true factors involved in any job from start to finish.Every part of a job has a process and the real time it takes,not crammed into segments.. Who in the real world can possibly show up to a house renovation with 10 to 20 workers as he often does and then average 12 plus hour days and thats beside the contractors he also hires. Money seems to be no object to him,that may be fine in his world but not the real one.One thing I do find funny it seems he has never met the homeowner from you know where,sure many have.I know one thing if money was no object one job at a time would be just great.

  15. Mike Holmes sure does good work but when you are not accountable to price or schedule, it is a pretty easy assignment. As a contractor for 20 years, it seems funny to me that this guy can “over design” each of the structures he builds and make people believe that they can get the same for virtually no money.

  16. I feel in light of the Readers Digest article it is time to put the Amish on the HoH show as well as HGTV.This Tv show with this continuous dribble does not have the best interests of the Canadian public or the Contracting community at heart.I have great respect for the community aid which this show has provided to many through troubled times.However I am tired of a front man with his head up his A– constantly whining and demeaning many good trades people out there.I really feel he has no genuine respect for other trades .This comes across in his atitude towards other trades work ,technical knowledge and promotions.Its time to abandon HGTV ,they are starting to suck.

  17. Hey I think that we should give Mike Holmes the Order of Canada and all contractors should pitch in and buy him something really nice. (Kidding seriously)

    I and most contractors would really like a camera crew discreetly following us around every day to show the real “Reality” of what happens on the job.
    I believe that most contractors put their best foot forward and know that they are judged by what they did on their last job, so it’s in there best interest to do well by their clients; especially if they want to continue to be in the business.

    If you want a great professional job done hire a great professional.
    If you want a cheap job done hire a cheapskate.
    If you want a full time contractor hire a contractor that is in the business to do business on a full time basis.
    Infinitum ad nausem.

    Oh and Mike it only stands to reason that your opinion is as such; when you become the savior to not only the needy but to the clueless. Guess who your going to hear from (the people that need saving either because of a truly bad contractors or from sheer stupidity)

  18. There’s no question that Mike Holmes is NOT superhero

    Send this to anyone who thinks so…

    http://hammerati.com/superhero-vs-contractor

    It gives homeowners stats on the real state of business in Canadian renovations (i.e. that the majority of them are done on-time and in-budget).

  19. I’ve been in business for 17yrs and come from a long list of family carpenters dating back centuries (all have apprenticed with master carpenters) Its time to quit selling bullshit! Put it this way if Mike is such a great renovater then why did he go broke and why was he working for someone when he was recruited by HGTV? Hes a typical sales man. People who dont know anything and need to beleive something, love him.(they think he’s on tv,he must be good, because he tells you so)
    Mike is not even a trades person!
    ” Doin it right, with unlimited funds” should be his new quote”
    If i charged out all of Mikes hours on his show , l would never get another job!
    If hes “doing it right” the audience should see the final price on each episode!
    If we all had what he now has “unlimited funds” then any donkey could learn as they go and run a crew and be succesful .
    l think we would all like to hear from Mikes previous customers as to how his work performance was and final price.(when he was in business long before the show happened)
    To weed out unqaulified builders/renovators, license them! And make them accountable.

  20. I don’t agree with the 80% comment…it’s more like 30% suck.

  21. I realize it’s TV and I realize the show is FOR the general public and homeowner and NOT the general Contractor (nor anyone in the trades)
    The homeowners who are SURE that all trades are gouging them and standing ready to rip them off at every turn. They are the viewer ship and THEY must be pandered to in order to keep them tuning in. Everyone likes to be shown/told they were right, see, those blue collar yahoo’s are ALL the same (or at least 80% of them are) Only once do I remember Holmes, during one of the first episodes, mention what THEY had just done might have cost the client. It likely didn’t go over well, since it was easily double what the couple had agreed to with “Joe has a hammer and a saw” construction co, and they still thought it too high and were getting robed! TV motto: never make your viewership look stupid:)

    Of course Holmes and the network have a right to slant their show in any direction they wish BUT, if it’s in the direction of the poor homeowner who didn’t know they couldn’t get a state of the art bathroom for less then a couch, don’t then stand up Mr. Holmes and say your all for the new kids coming up in the trades. How the trades need fresh blood to take the place of us older fella’s heading towards (if not retirement) slowing down. Don’t give talks at Community Colleges to kids attending trades courses and pretend to be on their side or representing and defending a trade that struggles daily to educate the public on WHY things cost a lot in this world (yes Sir, that hamburger at Wendy’s costs more then if you made it yourself…. and do you need me to explain to you WHY???)
    If he were in the contractors corner at all, he wouldn’t just state things like how a good contractor would tell the client that the garage should be spray foamed… most good guys likely do just that but they KNOW most clients will NOT pay (as Holmes insists they would if they only knew, HA!) A good contractor may even give them the price, with and without but you know pretty well what most will pick… the lower price. Spray foam the GARAGE??? Who cares! Honey, if we don’t do that we can buy that sub zero fridge we’ve been eyeing for the new kitchen”
    I liked “Real Reno”, I liked Jim, was “real”. He truly reminded me of some of the bigger contractors and as in the REAL world, the clients where shown to change their minds on a regular basis, the complaints on both sides flowed, the costs went over and the deadlines extended by months, not a day or two…. and Jim showed up only when it was time to collect the payments and it was a darnn entertaining show!!!! My favorite part…. when the homeowner stuck up a cardboard sign on the job site saying “no more extra’s” and Jim crossed it out and wrote, “no more changes”. Where is that show?? Gone. It did not paint the OWNER, the viewer, in the nicest light most times, they were NOT the victim. Holmes though, is still here….

  22. @ Mr G Parsons , who taught you ? . I resent that comment you made about those of us that have taken the time to TEACH and mentor the next generation of trades . Being a tradesman is not just a mastery of your trade or craft but a stewardship of the accumulated knowledge of many generations of those that went before us . You Sir are a buffoon, to even dare to use Holmes name in any statement about teaching . As far as I know from my own sources MH is a HANDYMAN , not a tradesman of any sort .

    BTW , I do TEACH and I have been ” Doing ” for over 30 yrs .

  23. Great video, great subject and we’ve blogged it to other organizations in oeder to get more feed back on Mike Homes. Keep up the good work Steve & Rob and the Canadian Contractor and our great sponsors.

    Cheers,
    Alec Caldwell@CARAHS

    Toll free 1-866-366-2930 Visit at http://www.carahs.org

    CARAHS is a non profit Association delivering Safety, Education & Benefits to Self employed Contractors, Renovators, Builders, Trades & Home Services

  24. As an interior decorator I am often involved, along with my clients, in the construction process. I USED to hang on Mr. Holmes’ every word because Holmes shares a lot of his knowledge with his viewers and you feel a little more educated after having watched one of his shows. However; Mike’s increasing contractor- bashing; knit-picking; commando-style “I-know-it-all”, “this isn’t right!” approach has me tuning him out! Sadly, regardless if Mike realizes it or not, he is turning a lot of people off of him as a person and I can’t help but feel that he is burning a lot of bridges along the way. There is no doubt that Mike Holmes knows his stuff, but his once kind and caring persona has morphed into a self-glorifying, egotistical maniac. Because it’s television, we have to recognize that a lot happens behind the scenes but from THIS viewers perspective…the homeowner has NO CHOICE in what “Makes it Right”, it’s Mike’s way or the highway! Oh! By-the-way, if you want to really LEARN something about construction, give Brian Baeumler a try, now that guy can teach!

  25. I thought I’d share the following comment made in response to this article from Leo Reise, part of the LinkedIn group: NATIONAL WHOLESALE PLUMBING, HEATING & HVAC GROUP. Lets hear your comment on his remarks?
    Thanks: Alec Caldwell@CARAHS

    Leo Reise says:

    First – One must remember that Mike Homes business is his TV sales. Yes he is a contractor and was probably a good one – but his hype sells his program – sort of a “Don Cherry” of contracting. Having said that, he does illustrate a number of very good points, I have also seen how some ‘contractors’ perform and Homes is correct, their work is just plain ‘ugly’.

    • what is min code according to MH. ugly

  26. I thought I’d share some more of the comments we received in response to our posting of this article. Cheers Alec Caldwell@CARAHS http://www.carahs.org

    Erin E. from the Canadian Home Staging and Decorating LinkedIn group says:
    “I quickly checked this out and I have to agree with some of the comments made. I don’t believe that 70% of contractors are bad. Honestly, if everyone had the unlimited budgets that are shown on the show, then, of course, everything would be perfect. Homeowners have to be educated, and I think that the show should be more geared toward that rather than bashing contractors”

    Wayne Christopher, RHI, NHI from the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) LinkedIn group says: “Looked like a pretty even split of those that agree and disagree with Mr. Holmes from the video piece. As a professional home inspector who turned down the opportunity to be one of Mr. Holmes inspectors a few years back I would have to say there are more bad, unqualified, fly-by-night contractors out there than well trained legitimate ones and their work isn’t that hard to detect”

    Jeff Grenz at the Builder LinkedIn group says “When Holmes talks about poor work, he’s often lumping together the poor work of unlicensed, unqualified IMHO. I do like the quality of his work on the show. I can’t watch most of the other home improvement shows for more than 10-20 minutes without seeing incorrect advice”

    Michael Luckado at the Builder LinkedIn group says: “Mike Holmes is looking for ratings and his 70/10 statement is just another way to get people to listen or watch. I would love to ask his past customers how satisfied they are…maybe somebody should do a story on that. In one episode he pulls down an entire ceiling of an old house because it was 1/2 inch out of level. The house had settled but was 100% structurally sound. I personally wouldn’t have paid for that as a homeowner”

  27. I thought I’d add a few more reply’s we received on this hot subject . From Alec Caldwell @ http://www.carahs.org

    Wolfgang Wintersteiner from the Contractor Discussion LinkedIn group for Plumbers, Electricians said:

    “ Big words when you have an entire TV production crew and a huge budget and limitless resources for your show. If the 70% statement were true, I’m sure that the government would have gotten involved by now, plus where are the building inspectors to check up on the quality and safety of the workmanship? I’ve never been sued, gone to court, or had someone call the BBB because of my quality of work. If the work is beyond my capability or needs a larger crew, I do my best to find a contractor who can properly do the work and with whom I feel comfortable with doing the job. As my reputation for the referral is on the line also. Get a mirror and get real”

    and Patrick Flanagan from the same group said”

    “If we all had the resources provided to Holmes, we would all be heroes in our own little FANTASY worlds… Why doesn’t he try living in the real for a while?!? We have all seen our share of work that shouldn’t have been done on a doll house, never mind a human habitat! Take this “Jerk” for lack of other words I can’t write and stuff him in a deep dark place…haha We self employed, hard working, reputation building contractors, have had enough of his bad mouthing crap!!!!!”

  28. Like others above, I have watched the show often enough. I am primarily an outside contracotr and of course I see all the mistakes. There was a roof-top deck with a railing that was blatently non code compliant.
    There was a brick retaining wall built right up to a sidewalk- 3 ft over the proeprty line.
    A large deck built on deck blocks. A massive fence job with maybe 50 homeowners, with huge problems: poor spacing, poor stepping, arbitrary joints, you name it.
    A double decker porch on two levels: incorrect supports, beams in adequately fastened, incorrect railings.
    If you are going to put yourself out to the public, at least do the job in question correctly.

    Unfortunately, all of Holme’s efforts to teach people to stay away from the lowest bifdder doesn’t really work. I recently lost a
    $30,000 deck to someone who quoted $16,000.00. The material alone was $14000, so whomever was going to build it for that was going to gross less than 1/3 of what I pay my men, not to mention insurance, workers comp, etc.
    The homeowners had 2 more quotes in my range, but still went with the lowball.
    Imgine that

    • Steve Allen I feel for you as a Home Inspector we have to constantly hear his name on Inspections. He has created more problems than good.

  29. Mike Holmes has been a black mark to all good contractor since he started every time we go on a call we are painted as bad by Mike and find ourselves having to prove our selves. Should small problem come up during construction the client starts getting freaked out never mind we are professionals. Mike has done more to undermine the honest contractor out there than good. Yes I too can point out all the mistake he makes on his show but the worst was that disaster down in new Orleans. Framing that house the whole world was laughing at us thinking that was how we frame houses. Forget the fact that stupid his what stupid dose but to show where his mind is at it was over 100 degrees and with great fan fare he hands out his new mike Holmes 20lb tool belt, I have no use for this guy and the more of us the send email to his sponsors and tv network maybe the time will come when he will go back to being bankrupt and out of work so we can continue. To provide the quality workmanship that most Canadian contractors provide.
    Fred Patterson.
    Custom1contracting.com

  30. I I agree 100 per cent, there are higher bad contractors, then good. And yes Holmes makes a good $ focusing on the outstanding moronic performance by the elite. Keep up the good work Mike Holmes!! Its important to indicate the actual costs involved to correct a project gone wrong. Again, love the fous holmes brings. B.

    • You sound like your just as stupid as Mike Holmes.

      • It is “you’re”, not “your”!

      • Steve Payne

        Your absolutely right

      • I am a home owner and have been so for six years, when we bought our home we had two inspections , both passed with only a few minor issues that we addressed and fixed right away. We were grossly let down , we have had to hire contractors to come in twice , we did not take the lowest bids , we checked with others who had hired them and believed in both cases we had made good choices , we were wrong , at first the work looked good and we were happy , sadly a lot of bad work was made to look nice and soon fell apart , we are now in dire financial straits because both inspectors and contractors have let us down , when a home owner hires you they put a great deal of trust into your abilities, this is not a toaster your working on its someone’s home , We are a family of five , I have medical issues , getting the money to fix all the issues took a great deal of time and effort and did not actually fix them , I see a great deal of people saying its 70% home owner stupidity , I would like to see these people have to pay a mortgage and rent for a year because a contractor did not do there job, I am a trained chef NOT! a contractor , I don’t know how to fix a home that’s why I hire a contractor and trust in them the people who do know not to screw me over but sadly it does happen with far to much regularity, If Mike Homes sensationalism about bad contractors and inspectors changes the rules and makes things better I say all the luck to him because I never want someone to have to go threw what my family and I have had to go threw these last few years.

  31. Am I the only one who wonders who can afford Mike Holmes? Yeah he shows shoddy work, but can your customers afford 15 people swarming over their house with the latest and greatest materials and techniques?

    How about some reality people? It’s almost as if you have to have a MH defence jacket on when you go to see your prospects. Be legit, show your papers and a list of happy customers and let your work do the talking, not MH.

  32. i just witnessed a mike holmes endorsed spray insulation company do the most horrific job ever the insulation was out past the studs allot so they came back hacked all the excess off while hacking thru the bran new electrical wiring good job boys …..clearly mike was not talking about this company in the 70 percent as his picture and endorsement are on the side of the truck…..

  33. I wonder if there is a correlation to MH having the discussion with the current Ontario government back in 2009 and recently my receiving “the” letter from Ontario Colleges of Trades. If so, why am I going to pay an extravagant annual licensing fee for someone else making mistakes.

  34. Hey Steve, you ever pick up a tool before? Its easy to have an opinion about someone when you don’t know them. The truth is that Mike will give the shirt off his back for homeowners. The home owners pay a VERY small percentage for the work to be done. The trades do work pro bono as a way of great ads for their companies. Google 10 contractors in Toronto, check the work out and then you do the %. There are 10’s of thousands of contractors in the GTA alone. Do you really think that 50% of them are good? Do you know how easy it is to put a sticker on your car and be a GC.
    Do some research when you give your input

    • Robert Koci

      Do YOU know Mike? You seem to have a pretty strong opinion about him. Where do you know him from? TV? Give me a break.

  35. Wow, what a bunch of whiners. Mike shows just how bad MOST of you are, and you complain about it, instead of doing something about it. STOP being part of the problem. STOP taking the money and running. If you whiners think you know better, then prove it, like he does, every single day. He is a true professional, and remember, it is a TV show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Mike Holmes is one of the 10% he claims are ugly. I have been a contractor for over 20 years and have never been sued because I delivered what I promised or was contracted to do.
    How many law suits does mike holmes have?
    more then the 20 percent of the good contractors,
    My advise to canadians, stop looking at mike holmes for answers and go out and do your own due diligence

    Luciano

  37. I have to say that I’m enjoying reading all the different perspectives posted here. I think you all have very valid posts. I will do my best to add my two cents as well as you all have.

    I have been a contractor for about 8 years now in the Niagara Region. I have never been sued and I have never been burned by a customer. My truck is 13 years old but is still looks presentable. I live and work in an area where there are more contractors than you can shake a 2×4 at making for a competitive market. Most are very good with a few acceptions. Nothing out of the ordinary I suppose. What makes things difficult are the guys we call “Trunk Slammers”. These would be the guys that are often factory workers, police, firefighters etc that have the week on/week off work schedule. On their week off they fancy themselves a contractor. They pick up jobs severely undercutting the legitimate contractors. Then making a mess out of it. A very common problem in this area.

    Like you I get frustrated watching my Mike Holmes. He spends an awful lot of time bashing contractors for their methods and the products they use. What doesn’t talk about the fact that most people don’t have a limitless budget. This is why they go as cheap as possible. Mike goes on and on about the evils of “minimum code”. Well, in most cases a job done by minimum code was done that way because the contractor was competing against 3 other contractors and did everything he could to cut costs for the client in order to get the job. After all we’re all here to earn an honest living. We aren’t saviors backed by a fleet of producers with deep pockets. We have to pay our HST. We have to pay our WSIB premiums. We have to pay for our liability insurances, vehicle maintenance, tool repair, new tools. What I pay in fuel is ridiculous. I can’t imagine what you boys in the G.T.A. are paying. On top of all that, we, the legitimate contractors have to deal with WSIB and revenue Canada treating us like we’re constantly trying to get away with something when it’s the trunk slammers causing all the trouble.

    I will end my rant by saying that Mike Holmes, with all his faults does has business savvy. He does know how to sell himself. He has earned a fine living showing the worst of the worst and in a few ways even educated home owners. (that’s me being nice). I would like to see him use the medium of television to “fully” educate the homeowners on all aspects of this business and support his fellow tradesmen(women), not hang us out to dry as he does.

    Dave

    • Robert Koci

      Mike is planning to grow his Holmes Referred business, a listing opportunity for contractors that want to use the Holmes brand. I think that will spur him to trying to improve his relations with contractors.

    • Hi dave,

      Do you have a name or website for your business? I am in the Niagara area and looking for a good contractor to use. You sound like a decent chap.

      Jimmy Jim

  38. HI Guys,

    The most important bit of info contractors and clients dont know but should, is that all Holmer Holms shows are all staged. Not only this show but all renovation shows. You as contractors should express to all clients or potential clients, maybe one day these people who are supporting Holmer’s show would stop watching. no ratings, no show. A good way to get him back.

  39. I think it’s simple jealousy. Standards have fallen, many contractors now are unlicensed and unexperienced. You can’t blame the homeowner for hiring a crew saying they’ll do the work for $40,000 as opposed to $150,000. It’s on you contractors to show/prove your worth. Explain why you’re expensive, explain how much materials cost.

    People hate Mike Holmes because he is sort of a whistle blower even. He cherry picks the worst cases and brings them to the limelight for all of Canada to see. He’s not going to pick the house where the framing was a little off, where the yard wasn’t properly graded. He’s going to fix the house with the wrong windows, the cracked foundation, the sagging roof etc.

    As someone in the realty business, I hate some of the shows that make viewers believe they need to see 3 or more before deciding. Millions of times homeowners have lost out on a home that met every requirement or was exactly what they needed in terms of price and location, only to have lost it because they felt compelled to look at what else is out there, much like the shows show.

    Mike Holmes is a good guy. He goes above and beyond what is required. Don’t be mad at him because he exposes the crooks. Be happy there is an increased attention on shoddy building and maybe people will start thinking, Mike is right, get the qualified contractors, pay the good money for the good jobs. It’s just hard these days because a lot of contractors don’t properly convey their expenses.

  40. I think a lot of the contractors on this site are grossly missing the point. Holmes is not competing with any of you as far as I am aware. He is marketing a standard and promoting paying up for a quality job. How can any contractor have a problem with that stance?

    The fact that he chooses the extremes of poor workmanship is pure television. It does not undermine a quality contractor. It just helps to reinforce the message of get references, make sure permits are pulled and get a company that has delivered quality work.

    I find it very amusing that some, not all, of the contractor criticism of Holmes comes from folks that acknowledge that they cut corners – because they need to to get the job.

    • Robert Koci

      I think the objection to Holmes is that he doesn’t tell the entire story. It is often the customer that decides to accept less than “done right” in order to cut costs. Mike doesn’t take customers to task. Having said that, we recently posted a column he wrote in the National Post telling home owners that if they found it hard to find a good contractor, it might be time to “look in the mirror.”

  41. Well my take on this mike Holmes dude is you need to quite putting others down to bring yourself up.
    I’ve personally constructed 100s of residential and comercial projects and I never ever stop learning and never critize others because there’s no positive outcome but this guy has to quite being so adamite about every word out his own mouth !
    He always saying code but , to someone like myself , would tell him to be more specific or shut up because throwing code around in front of laymen is proof of a man trying to impresss
    Next, his way is the only way ! How does he know so much ! :) lol
    I’m not going to rattle on but I do believe his net work should quite giving themselves disclaimers and just tell him to check his ego at the door !
    Oh yeah a affordable door! :)

  42. As a watcher of Mike Holmes, I would say that the real value is seeing some of the horrible things contractors do. Almost every show contains examples that are not just poor workmanship, but actually dangerous cost cutting (venting dryers into voids, venting stoves into the ceiling, cutting support walls, cutting support beams, removing/cutting vapor barriers etc.)

    Who is to blame? Customers, Contractors or maybe both, but there is NO excuse for dangerous work being done. Even the most pathetic contractor should know better. Perhaps you can blame the customer for choosing the lowest price (I never do on any work I have done) and ignoring references from other clients. but they cannot be blamed when a contractor does something that is dangerous. These are the guys who should be sued.

  43. I don’t know Mike Holmes, but he seems to be a pretty genuine guy, who sincerely wishes to help people. Some of these comments about him sound a little bit venomous. My fella is a contractor who takes pride in his work. We watch Holmes’s shows together and he never complains about him, because he knows his own work is quality work. Of course it is the responsibility of the homeowner to do their own research on material and labour costs, so that they understand what they’re paying for, and to check for references, to get to know their contractor and his/her reputation, and the quality of work they can expect. To do any less, is irresponsible on the homeowner’s part. What Mike Holmes does is very costly in terms of labour and materials, evidently, but I think it’s great that he has homeowners asking questions. I do think that he should consider listing the actual cost of the renovations he does at the end of each show, to dispel any potential confusion. I think that would be the responsible thing to do, on his part. :)

    • He does now do this at the end of the Make it Right episode.
      One blow’s me away because the work he had done you could buy a new home.

  44. Mike reminds me of another so called PRO and his name was Bob Vila.
    Remember that turkey on this old house. Another I know everything and you don’t !
    He did some work for aTV Star and screwed him up “GOOD”. I can’t remember his name but he starred on THE LOVE BOAT. Oh yea I never knew that GOD loved tattoo’s.

  45. My story began with booking a Pre-Purchase Extended Inspection that was scheduled for Saturday, July 13, 2013. I have decided to hire Mike Holmes Inspection based on the TV Show and the credit ability it exhibited and Projected to do Things Right. As advertised “Mike Holmes Inspections – High Quality Home Inspections You Can Trust”. It is important in the construction industry to hire The Right Professionals(and boy have we learned !!!)
    In addition we wanted to ensure we receive the best Professional High Quality Advise we can buy. Therefore we Purchased an Extended Inspection
    that included Thermography – In order to be effective and detect Serious Problems – As advertised on your website. Based on the Concluded Inspection by Andrew Dixon and the Report Provided – it appeared the property did not have a major damage, based on the outlined report. Upon completion of the purchase and receiving possession of the house, we were excited to move in to our first property with full confident that we received a professional, expert opinion ensuring the property is in a good condition. As part of the moving process, we decided to give the place a fresh coat of paint. When we started with the basement, it was apparent that there is something
    Visibly wrong but we did not know what it was. We decided to bring a contractor to provide us with a professional opinion and it was determined that we had Moisture And mould due to water leak. We were extremely shocked and surprised that after an Extended Inspection with Thermography imaging, and trusting a Mike Holmes inspector that we find Ourselves in a very difficult position, questioning the very fact about the quality and the professional opinion we received. it took us by surprise to learn the inspector failed to mention any moisture problems in the basement while he had the Thermography camera. We Paid for a Top Quality as the TV Show advertise all about doing things right, and having the right people do the job, yet with a great disappointment we find
    Ourselves facing a $15,000 repair that we have to do. When Someone such as Mike Holmes in the construction business talks About quality and ensuring you do it right, come to face the very reality that his own company failed to “do it right” . When Trust is Lost and Credibility is shattered where do we go from here. Our Experience and Expectation has been met with a great disappointment. Do not trust the Mike Holmes Inspection Promise of Quality –
    It is our responsibility to share our experience with the public so they can learn and not fall victim.

    • Hi Mike, I would be very interested in speaking with you privately about your Mike Holmes Inspection from July 2013. If you would be so kind as to reach out to me privately via email I’d appreciate it. Kind regards, Sharon Email: canspechomepublishing@gmail.com Thanks and have a great day!

    • That’s because you picked the almighty “Registered Home Inspector” from the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. Looks like he was even a past President of that association (2004-2006).
      Like Mike, they blow a lot of smoke out of their behinds and spend a lot of money fooling the public.

  46. I’m still looking for a good honest contractor.I’ve done 3 renos so far and this time I went with what seemed to be legitimate and experienced *intead of a friend of a friend’s recommendation – that NEVER works out- and all i can do now when i look at my unfinished bathroom is cry as i’m truly afraid of hiring another one. How do you know who isn’t going to screw you over? i have a contract, vague at best, disputes with what’s an accessory and what isn’t, what’s fixture, what isn’t. i’ll pay up, when the job is done to my liking, and in all honesty, i’m pretty easy going… but enough is enough… thank you Mike Holmes for shedding some light… its never easy to be brutally honest… you’re a trailblazer…

  47. Hi there Christine, Thank you for your comment and sounds like you’ve been through the mill with your renovation work. I’m out and about visiting job sites right now and my B B screen is small, so sorry for any typo errors. We’de like to help you and if you call our office and speak withg Monica (CARAHS Co Founder) she will give you good advice and guidence. Toll free 1 866 366 2930. There are orgfanizatrions like HomeStars out there and more. We are affiliated with HomeStars. Anyway I’ll let Monica know you’ll be 0alling and thank you for calling me a trail blazier. It should all be about honesty and integrity and that’s what’s missing witgh some Contracrors. Best wishes. Alec@CARAHS

  48. Thank you very much for the information… i will definitely be contacting Monica tomorrow. I would also like to know what recourse i have toward this company. I want to make sure they cant do this to another person. Here is the story: I recently hired a local (Ottawa) company to renovate my bathroom addition in my new to me older home. I bought this 1960s home last year for me and my 8 year old son. I”m a single mom and this is our first single family home. We had some pipe freezing issues in the master bathroom addition last winter and therefore wanted to renovate the bathroom before this winter to alleviate the problem. I had the contractor come over and told him exactly what the issue was, an insulation problem, and that the shower might have a leak. Therefore, the floors needed to be ripped out, reinsulated, install heated floors (my cost), reinsulate all the walls and install all new fixtures and accessories (my cost). He seemed cordial and knowledgeable. I looked no further and hired him. We signed a contract listing the work to be done, what i supplied, what he supplied and the payment plan. There was a deposit portion, then a progress payment due after all fixtures where installed, and then the final payment. Almost from the very beginning, i was hounded with paying the progress payment, even before the vanity was installed, it still sat in my bedroom. I refused. Once the vanity was installed, there was still all the light fixtures, exhaust fan\light, heated floors, shower, shower head and faucet left to install in the fixture category and i kept being hounded for a payment. In good faith, i submitted part of the progress payment. From that point on, the work, if you can call it that, that was done in my bathroom could be called shady at best. The wall grout and floor grout was not finished and some of the cement was showing through. The drywall tape was pealing off in some places so he decided to just put caulking behind the tape, then add some dywall mud, not sand, and paint over it. THe caulking that was done, was done in a bathroom that was riddled in drywall dust, grout debris and yes, even leaves. and to boot, some areas they used clear caulking (that shows the dirt even more) and continued the line in white caulk. During the time they were in my house “working”, not once did they use a drop sheet on any surface. The floors from the outside leading to the bathroom were filthy from their muddy boots, there were tools laid out in my bedroom, including saws on the floor and more tools directly on my bed sheet. I overlooked the mess they left daily thinking that at least it was more time they could work and less time cleaning. a 2 week renovation has now turned into 4 weeks. i spent 3 weeks sleeping in the living room as the filth, dirt and array for power tools, tools, ect, rendered my bedroom inhabitable. I wrote them 2 more cheques for the promise of the work being almost done, postdated, thank god. They left Friday with no intent on coming back and i have to tell you, the bathroom was in worst shape than before the renovation. I cancelled the cheques, told them i was not satisfied with the work, the exhaust fan still did not work, the heated floors still did not work, the shower was still unusable, to name but a few things, and they thought they were done. After i cancelled the cheques, the owner emailed me and is threatening to put a contractor’s lien on my house and take me to court, but as he says, he’s not going to tell me anything about it. Not sure what that means. If there’s a lien put on my house, i have to know about it. If he takes me to court, i have to know about it. I realize he doesn’t really have a leg to stand on but what can i do. I’ve been living without a bathroom in my bedroom for a month now. It took me 6 hours to clean my bedroom and bathroom from all the dust and dirt that had accumulated for the past month with no drop sheet used. My mattress still smells like drywall dust. What recourse do i have. I have taken pictures of the current state of the bathroom. i will definitely have to hire a new contractor to finish but i’m terrified. How can i prevent this guy from advertising his services. he’s not a member of the better business bureau. The name of the company is Imperial Home services. They seemed so nice at the start. This is what makes me cry. What can i do?

  49. Robert Koci

    Christine: You might want to put a review for this contractor on HomeStars.

    • Done, thanks. Hopefully more homeowners will take the time to review potential contractor and these types of things can be avoided. Again, thank you.

  50. In error. I realize on hindsight, the real trail blazer Christine remarked on was meant for the Canadian Contractor and Rob’s article and not my article. My only defense for this error was, I thought the incoming email and Christine’s comment refereed to one of my previous blogs….ops. In my defense, Rob’s article was written awhile ago (November 2012) and blogging using a BB (Blackberry) in your vehicle was a first for me, especially loading such a huge article and in seeing the small print clearly, even with glasses on. So my apologies go to Rob and the Canadian Contractor, who allow myself and others to reach out to contractors with lots of great information and ideas.

    PS. Thanks for remarking on HomeStars Rob, as I’m sure you had notice I had mentioned HomeStars in my prior days blog! Doing this was also on our agenda to advise Christine on! So thanks for helping this process along!

    Finally we appreciate your incoming call on your complaint.
    Cheers,
    Alec@CARAHS

  51. Robert Koci

    And, Christine, if you have any pictures of the mess you describe so well in your letter, you should send them to me at rkoci@bizinfogroup.ca. I’d love to see what happened.

    • sending them your way Robert. Thanks

  52. I would caution anyone hiring a home inspector from OAHI to check that they are actually current members of OAHI – Mike sub contracts inspections out to OAHI inspectors. There are a number of former members of OAHI advertising on their website that they are current members by using the OAHI logo and RHI (Registered Home Inspector) which is a protected title under a provincial act – An Act Representing the Ontario Assoc. of Home Inspectors. You can check for membership on-line at http://www.oahi.com. If the person you hired is not listed then they are not members.

    Its alleged Mr. Dixon did the inspection and if the client feels she suffered a loss as a result of the inspection, then she should lodge a complaint with OAHI, and also with Holmes Inspection. Since Holmes inspectors are required to carry errors and omissions insurance you may have a case against the inspector for a negligent inspection and/or breach of contract.

    Further any contract for an inspection must be presented prior to inspection for review by the client. If the contract was presented post inspection then the terms/clauses limiting liability are void, and this is the view of the courts.

  53. Wow! I am amazed at the comments made by some of the contractors on here. I have been involved in home renovations for over 40 years and cannot thank Mike enough for enlightning my customers to the reality of construction. Your typical home owner has little to no experience in construction and in most cases at the mercy of the contractors.
    Mike points out the proper channels people need to take to hire an experienced tradesman. Is he perfect, no he’s not, but he does teach people that they need to take the bull by the horns and do their homework. If you listen to his dialogue, he doesn’t slam honest experienced contractors, he thrashes the fly by nighters. The people who ruin our industry by giving us a collecvtive blackeye. The argument that I hear over and over by contractors is that his budget is way out of line with reality. Well, the truth is, he shows the audience that to do a proper job, this is what it should have cost. So, the next time you quote on a job, think about that. If you need to low ball your price to get the job, then maybe there is an issue with you and not Mike, because if you’re as good as you think you are, you should be able to show your customer as to why it cost as much as it does. Most people want a proper job done, not just a bargain basement solution.

  54. Its about the quality of the work, and theres a lit of garbage out there.

    Most of the work HOLMES rebuilds isn’t done by contractors, its wannabes.

    Earl

  55. Just watched an episode of Holmes Fixes Holmes. Complete rancher redo with no basement painting and no exterior painting. A 2,000 sf house (so 1,000 sf painted) with all large open rooms and the paint cost was over $6,000. Tiled kitchen back-splash and cabinets floor to ceiling. Fully tiled showers and half walls. (all the show was about was an open kitchen/family/dining room and a powder room) Where can I find jobs like that?!?!

    Paint prices in the NE of the U.S. are extremely high, but for quality work and a HIGH cost (incl materials) would be about $3,000. For what they showed?!?! $1,800.

    This entire show is a pile of white lies.

  56. I have not had any experience with Mike Holmes, and I have only seen a few of his shows. I am presently going thru a renovation nightmare and the film ” The Money Pit ” would be a good summation of what is happening. I have truly paid too much money and been double charged for shabby, incomplete work and the contractors have done the midnight move on me and have left. The house is completely gutted with a partial second floor done and the basement dug down and is unfinished. My daughter and I have been out of the house since October, but work on the basement started in June and was done in July- this was subcontracted out and the job was done well and quickly and the people were great. The contractors did a gut job on the house, but soon got disenchanted once the building of the space began. By mid November, they had slowed down and they no longer had interest in being in the house, but had asked for money to keep going. Many of the workers that had been at the house to do work- plumbers, roofing, framing and others- would agree that I was a good client and not demanding or difficult- I tried my best to be fair and trust that the work was going in the right direction. Once I started questioning more and more the work done and the amount of money given, I could feel the change and animosity from the contractors. When the contractors stopped calling me and I was still dropping by the house just to see that they were leaving at 3pm for the day, my gut knew that something was brewing. The evening I opened my door to see everything gone- right down to the screws, pencils and sandpaper- I knew and my heart sank. I am now dealing with a house that is unliveable, my daughter someplace where i see very little of her (I work early shifts which would leave her alone and she is very young) but at least she has some stability, and my financial picture looking like I may have to sell the house. There are many factors which are not written, but I am a single mom and the house was my mother’s and literally caving in while we were living there- my hand was forced to either fix or sell. The contractors were not cheap and I had spoken to others who had work done by them and saw their places. Looking back, I can say that the work was sloppy and incomplete, but the contractors covered it up with being nice and saying that it was better than what they had before and people accepted this. The recourse for contractors like this still doesn’t completely stop them from doing this to other people. They take on work and for whatever reason, can justify why they left and should keep the money. If Mike Holmes can expose and shame some of these people, then he has done a good thing. These contractors are crooks first, regardless of their work experience or quality. There is something wrong with people like this who take pride in their poor work and make the client feel stupid and guilty of ever questioning them. My fault was I looked past the red flags and my gut instinct- I trusted that people are basically good and would do their part when given a job and an agreement was made. I am scared and unsure of who can do the work in my house because of my financial picture, but I need a home for my daughter and I to live in- we need to be together again.These contractors knew what they were doing to us this at Xmas, and that what makes this more painful. Contractors who do this for a living are crooks and offer nothing good to this world, despite their talents.

    Kris N.

    • your reno sounds eerily like mine… our contractors must be related… i’m a single mom too, maybe more of a target to them… my problems started when i started questioning the quality of the work and insuring what was agreed upon was being done… its my house, i have to live there and i’m paying his bill, i’m ENTITLED to ask any question i want… any good contractor would not have a problem with that… i too looked the other way too many times at the red flags… i could have written your story… I applaud Mike Holmes as well and agencies like CARAHS who work hard to educate home owners and try and eradicate these crooks… being a trail blazer is never easy…

      • Mike holmes simply manipulates situations for self promotion.I have only watched holmes on homes and quickly realized he is oblivious to the construction methods at hand as well as the simple terminology required to communicate the process involved . Mike Holmes uses basic salesman techniques to unsuspecting homeowners when they are in a depressed state of mind due to their current situation only to sell himself .I have sent two emails challenging Mike Holmes on multiple issues and/or concerns about the inaccuracy of his overall abilities and knowledge ,no response has been given to this day( imagine that ) . My statement would be for MIike to quit telling the world how incompetent other contractors are and concentrate on learning a skill to improve on his tremendous lack of knowledge about his so called profession . Just for fun, watch the two episodes where he installed the ” floating decks ” hilarious and pathetic at the same time ,please Mike, go back and actually make them right

  57. Mike Holmes opens the eyes to a lot of trash work, but one must remember some customers /home owners want a jaguar for the price of a chevette. Contractors need to be aware of homeowners deliberately trying to scam the contractor and get work done for free!! Even worse is homeowners wanting to save money and then tamper with the contractors work. We had a case where the homeowner was a contractor and hired us to repair his wet basement. This individual was to finish capping his windows and regrade his property after His work was completed. Needless to say, the windows never got recapped and our membrane was ripped ( by them) and They made an absolute mess of the property with garbage, from their renovations. The homeowner never contacted us once about having concerns and. Was very happy with our work after we left. One day one the internet we find that His same individual is slandering our company and advertising wet basement repairs!! Why not have a show on how to protect contractors from devious customers!! We have been in business since 1982 and have thousands of happy customers. Thank God for those we have saved thousands and are very happy.. We love solving peoples wet basement issues while saving them thousands if possible!! Do your homework! Not all contractors or homeowners are bad..
    John 3:16

  58. Food for thought when hiring a Mike Holmes Inspector. He contracts regular home inspectors, most if not all have their own independent inspection businesses, and in addition to the inspections their own marketing brings in, they contract with Mike Holmes inspections as a second source of income. Mike Holmes does not personally go out and do your home inspection (even through when you look at the cost difference it’s no wonder some people make this assumption).

    Here’s what I know having worked in the home inspection business serving inspectors as a reporting system provider, a CAHPI and OAHI educational speaker and home inspection marketing coach since 1999…

    A home inspector that works for Holmes yet also does his own inspections does not generally provide a different level of service when he goes out under the Holmes umbrella yet the client always pay much more when booking the service through the Mike Holmes Inspection organization.

    Yes, as a Mike Holmes Inspector they are required to purchase and use some expensive equipment like their thermal cameras but don’t kid yourself, they don’t pay for this expensive equipment and then just leave it at home when they get a private inspection (someone who hires them directly not through the Holmes organization).

    The inspector has the same set of eyes viewing things, the same equipment, is checking the same items throughout the home and providing the client with a full report at the end. The only difference is if you hire the inspector directly, instead of through the Holmes organization, you’ll save yourself about half or more on the inspection fee. I don’t know about you, all I know is perceived value is not the same as actual value unless it’s in the way you market services. There is a perceived value when you are considering a Mike Holmes Inspection but it’s really only perceived because what you get is the same actual value (likely with a few exceptions) as you would get hiring the inspector directly.

    For me, if I’m going to pay more for a service there should be actual added value. Holmes Inspectors are in most cases regular home inspectors who are for whatever reason looking to supplement their inspection income by contracting out their services to Mike Holmes.

    My advise, do your own research, contact your provincial home inspection association for referrals. Ask the right questions, like how long have you been in business, how many actual inspections have you done, what education have you had and what is your related background? Get referrals from friends and ask for references. You never know you may end up with a Mike Holmes Inspector in the end anyway, but without having to pay a premium because you found him yourself. Hope this helps.

  59. Never being sued is not the best indictor of what category a contracting business falls under. As we know the resources needed for a lawsuit can be immense. Individuals may have expended their maximum resources when this job was chosen. It would be true of most professions to look at several things within the integrety of a company. Top on my list are skill level, the ability to communicate, follow through, and own your mistakes when they happen.

  60. Do not solely rely on associations. They will not tell you whether a member has complaints only that they are a member.

  61. Remember there is a privacy act now on Ontario and sharing information has been closed down, unless the other party authorizes it.
    CARAHS.org

  62. I’ve watched Holmes, I wasn’t impressed at all, he’s a big headed no nothing.
    Shakes his head at other guys work but he hasn’t the skill to do anything right, never seen him actually do anything worth talking about except shoot his big mouth off, Why oh why, has he a programme on TV? This Old House programme blows his comedy programme away.
    old Norm and his guys have forgotten more than Holmes will every know, Holmes is a big joke, shame on the TV programme for giving this fool any air time, They must be real short of things to show.

  63. Yes an unqualified big mouth who has no accreditations to boot. He is no mould expert, no asbestos expert, and is not affiliated with any home inspection association!

    Fraud comes to mind.

  64. I would just like to let people know that I had my house done by Mike Holmes and it is airing on the Holmes makes it right series. It was finished in Aug but at the end of the day there were some issues that I truely believe Mike would fix quickly as that is what his show portrays him as. To my amazement was not the case. I am still fighting his crew to fix the final damage done during the show. To date even thought I have asked his crew to get him to call, email, text, or send me snail mail I have heard nothing. I have had to fight constantly to have them do each and every repair. It has been a horrible experience and at the end of the day I paid $25,000 of the $60,000 renos and I spent $10,000 on hotel accomedations for my family and I while the show aired. i jsut want people to seriously think twice before they jump into any of these reality shows t hat are on TV. As my grandfather used to say if it seems to good to be true it probably is. Mike I am truely devistated that you do not stand behind your work and that you have allowed this to escalate to the degree this has.

  65. Hi, I think the day will soon dawn when Mr Holmes realises he has sturred a sleeping grizzly, Us working guys on the tools, [not sat behind a desk] are a pretty easy going bunch, considering that the Building Industry is one of the toughest jobs anyone can do, we get on with it, travel all over looking at work, pricing the job at home,the paperwork, the trying to juggle and work out each job timetable, and with all the elements that can work against us, unforseen things happening, customers getting in our way, the weather, just to name a few.
    After many years in the trade, there are the aches and pains too, this job grinds you down, so it makes us tougher than most.
    When a guy sets himself up as the Lord of Building, we ignore him mostly, then he spreads out until you can’t watch TV without this guy popping up again and again, he’s in the press too, he was even having his portrait painted by four artist!! then he insults us, Then we find out that the Lord of Building doesn’t have any qualifications and his Father, [who he said taught him a lot] worked in a Car plant, what!!
    To all you guys out there, Mike Holmes is making a fortune, if he isn’t a millionaire now, he soon will be, all his family are in on the ACT, It is and ACT.
    He is smiling at you and then pushing the knife in your back, it hurts doesn’t it?
    If we are careful, and DO NOT fall for the smiles, his reign may soon be over, the press will be onto him, they love to knock down celebs.
    Don’t allow him to smarm his way out of this mess/hole he is digging, He thinks your a jerk, he thinks you have no voice, that you are dumb and will not have the guts to call him out, So? Lets call him out, Hey! he started it, Collect every bit of evidence there is about this guy and through our Building Construction Press, take him to task, look guys, HE IS OUT TO MAKE MILLIONS, He is a fake and a con, Plus, HE DOES NOT DO IT RIGHT. he has insulted us enough, boycott anything to do with the fool, and maybe we can get rid of him and his family crew, his days are numbered.

  66. Only one Mike Holmes on the CoT and he is an apprentice or he isn’t registered.

  67. Hi, In reply to Depressed Due to Mess, Holmes has had what he needs from you, he’s had money, even more TV time to promote Himself and as far as the TV viewers know, another happy customer.
    he is a very smart man, don’t under estimate him, he is out to make money and does not care in anyway about your problems, as far as he is concerned, you are used up, no good to him anymore, By now, he will know most tricks in the book of avoiding confrontation, he has well rehearsed answers and has no problem with walking over people like you.
    He has been around for quite a while now so he thinks he is too big to be tackled, He is nothing without the support of the public, they put him where he is today, He doesn’t care, His Family doesn’t care, The TV people don’t care, The Industry [which includes property Inspectors] Thousands of guys of all trades.need to take the time out to complain about this idiot, every complaint made is another pin prick in the Holmes balloon, I hope the day comes when the balloon bursts, I hope I see it, I won’t loose a wink of sleep, will you?

  68. This is what happens when you have the media hyping everything up and not investigating as it should.

    Its about time the truth started to come out.

  69. I find it very disturbing Mike Holmes hangs up on callers that have hard honest relevant questions to ask. He has also closed and reopened his magazine when he comes under fire. Cut and run Mike.

    “He pacifies the ignorant but does not fool the professional”.

    He is quite mistaken on many trade practices he boasts about and watching him on his show is yes educational to the limited of knowledge and the everyday home owner BUT he MAKES IT WRONG to many times as observed by the CERTIFIED LICENSED TRADES MEN AND WOMEN that get bashed as he scars everyone to sell an over priced product to which he takes 50%, HOME INSPECTING.
    HE HOLDS NO CERTIFICATION OF ANY KIND YET WENT AFTER KNOWN POOR INSPECTORS.
    A real class act.
    Bob Vila, Norm Abram and Tom Silva make the Mike Holmes show look like Johnny Jelly Bean with Mike being the squawk box. This old house and many others real shows are the true mentors to be watching.

    He over stepped what little authority he had talking about residential home inspections and hand selected known poor inspectors to prove a point that is the same in all businesses, “there are weak and poor workers everywhere”
    .
    What perturbed me is why he did not look deeper and MAKE IT RIGHT.
    In most cases inspectors are talked to write soft by the real estate agent or never ever be refereed. See they refer 80 percent of all the work, there alone is the biggest possibility for comfits.
    .Real estate agents RUN THE HOME INSPECTION INDUSTRY or so they think.
    So again Mike MAKES IT WRONG!

    Knowing several posters here I will say good day,
    Raymond, you always have a very clear message without bias. Best regards..
    Alec Caldwell is representing his wonderful organization,CARAHS, This should be a staple for home owners.
    I do not see Monica but will say to you both, best regards.
    Your work is greatly appreciated by many.
    Best regards
    Robert Young

  70. Hi there, I discovered your site by means of Google at the same time as searching for a comparable matter, your site got here up, it appears good. I’ve added to favourites|added to bookmarks.

  71. What are the reasons that homeowners pay by cash?

  72. HonH is a breath of fresh air to this industry, most people dont like him because he shows us how it is supposed to be done which is not get in, get the cash, get out. After having two bad contractors in my home, I at least can recognize improper work when it happens and better prepare myself, or better yet, do it myself, and do it right.

  73. If you are good you are good. If you suck you suck! Only the people who suck are bitching and complaining. Do a good job all the time. If the customer wants it for stupid cheap explain u cant and walk. If you are good there wont be any shortage of business.

  74. Mike Holmes may know contracting in some aspects, but not all. To say 70% are bad puts himself right there with those he speaks of. There was a show that Holmes goes to new Orleans to help out. Nice and all but you had your crew with you. Sorry mike we are in the USA now not Canada ok! Your plumber used PVC drain lines that are outlawed in the United States. Hell you can’t even buy black pipe here any longer. No way would your job have passed inspection. For that matter I was told none of what you did there was inspected. You don’t have a contractors license in new Orleans Mike. Talk about unprofessional work.

    • Dale,
      What do you mean PVC drain lines are outlawed in the USA? Do you mean the type they [ Holmes crew ] used in the New Orleans show, or any drain lines made of PVC?
      ( Just wanting to learn, I have little knowledge of drain lines, but have seen PVC ( maybe a schedule 40?) used as drain/waste lines.) Thanks.

  75. None of this surprises me, he is a law unto himself, its all about Mike Holmes, and he doesn’t really give a dam about anything but getting more fame and money, I could tell he was not too good after watching and listening to him for 10 minutes, he has two big things in his favour, his big mouth, and head

  76. I’ve been watching the show for a few weeks now. I have no idea where the idea that Mike trashes “good contractors” comes from. From what I have seen, the work that he and his crews have done are definitely remodels of contractors who didn’t care at all. I mean, really, less then a year later and there’s mold in the shower? It no insulation behind the walls? An electrical wire laced through the framing of a “new” wall going up???? Are you kidding me? I am not a contractor, but I have helped in remodels and demo work and believe me…Even I KNOW this is not proper work!! Yes, it’s not realistic. In real life the charges for what he does would be astronomical. But, tell me…how do these contractors who have done and do work like that, sleep at night!!!!

    Of course I don’t believe it’s 70 or 80% of contractors that are bad, but that work is just NOT CARING.

    And to the person who said “you get what you pay for”. I have to laugh, so the above mentioned work is what should be expected when you pay $15,000 for a bathroom remodel? Only in your corrupt dreams. People work hard for the money they pay, whether they go for the lessor quote or not doesn’t mean they should get work that looks like my two year old grandson did.

    Thanks..
    Deborah

    • Robert Koci

      I have to agree with you. There is a lot of bad work out there. I think contractors just want him to occasionally tell the story of bad customers, too.

      • i wouldn’t call them “bad” customers, i would call them ill-informed homeowners… i think there is a huge difference….

  77. Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I feel strongly about it and really like mastering more on this subject. If feasible, as you acquire experience, would you mind updating your blog with much more information and facts? It is very helpful for me.

  78. It looks like only 20% percent of the contractors on here agree with Holmes’ statement. What does that said about the rest?

  79. Is it maybe that 100% of Canadian homeowners are stupid or lazy?

    • what a great way to view the people who hire you…

  80. What I believe it boils down to is accountability. Permits are pulled, trades people do the work and the inspectors pass it . Yet nobody is responsible for any thing that goes wrong down the road. If it can be proved that the work was inadequate, not to code, the inspector/tradesperson/general contractor should be legally accountable for their services. Then watch the quality improve.

  81. I am surprised by all the MH bashing. One should consider the good he is doing for the industry.
    -get people interested in careers and apprenticeship in trades
    -raise the standard of workmanship
    -educate the customer about renos
    My only criticism is they work with unlimited budgets which are unattainable in most renos. Consider the fact that many home owners were helpless prior to getting from Mike Holmes. Not only does Mike and the staff save the homes but their families.

  82. Over the past 35 years I have bought & sold 9 resale homes. I have never used a Home Inspector and IMHO after selling homes that were “inspected”, I find the Inspections to be somewhat cursory in nature and unless you are totally blind, for the most part a waste of money. When you read over what they “do” inspect and what they “do not” have to inspect, One realizes just how shallow an actual home inspection is.

    For example a friend was buying a home that was only 8 yrs old. I went with him & the insp to check out a home that he had placed a conditional offer on. Here is what I found that the Insp missed or didnt report on.

    -Basement window broken
    -Sewer gas coming from a former drain pipe where the water in the trap had dried up from non use.
    -Rust & a lot of it all over the side of the firnace where the humidifier was attached
    – sump pump not working correctly
    -an extremely and I mean extremely loud furnace motor
    -bathroom fan not working. There was mold on the ceiling and when I put a kleenex on the running exhaust fan, it fell off!
    -downspout blocked
    -living room window would crank open but wouldnt shut
    – shingles turning up on the south side exposure
    – holes in the ceiling drywall in the garage..there is a bedroom abovve the garage.
    – a half dead 40ft high willow tree that overhangs part of the house.
    – a portion of the fence that surrounds the yard is leaning over towards the neighbors property as it appears that a cement patio is actually moving! Several repaied cracks in the patio also indicate a very large amount of stress is present due to the shifting.
    – inground pool liner is pulling away from the side of,the pool.
    – it “appears” that the liner is floating!!
    – the pool pump sounds like “popcorn”
    – the property is extremely wet at the back even though it hadn’t rained in days, lots of moss growing instead of grass….possible drainage problems.

    Here is what the home insp reported on….

    NOTHING!!

    Are you kidding me. When my friend asked the insp about the other things we had found he said that he was not obliged to report on them. For example there was nothing structuraly wrong with the house. The wiring appeared to be in good order, the plumbing, absent the sewer gas, (yeah he admitted he missed that) was functional. He did not “observe” the humidifier leaking so he could not comment on that, the tree although half dead did not “appear” that it was going to pose any immediate problem as it was still partially alive, the fence although leaning was still intact, he wasnt authorized to report on the pool.

    OK, what the heck good was he? My friend was still facing the prospect of incurring some significant expenses with repairs etc in the very near future and this “insp” was not “obliged” to report tjem as defects as they “tehnically” weren’t defects yet. Wow, what a waste of money & time. As it turned out although the house “passed” inspection, my friend suddenly couldnt get “suitable” financing… another saving grace condition.

    Anyway, on to contractors.

    Having totally renovated 3 of my homes, i have a process I follow. 1) research research research. Research the type of renovation I’m doing, estimate the cost of the material…Home Depot, so I have a general idea of that cost at least. Research the trade that I need. I will do the yellow pages first, google the contractor & look for complaints. Check the BBB & of course get estimates. If I choose one, I will ask for proof of Insurance, liability & WSIB & I will call and verify where I can. They of course will show me their photo albums of their before & after pictures so I will ask them for names and addresses…you would be surprised how many I have “weeded” out by doing this alone!!!

    Once I have agreed on a contractor we write up a contract in which I specify that all major work must have a permit & inspections.

    Money in advance. Most will ask for 25% down. I will do 20% at the most with another 20% payable at what is agreed as the half way point of the job. The remainder payable upon final inspections/approvals & job completed in full. I have never been burned and with a contract in place everyone knows the ground rules up front.

    If people use commonsense & do their own due diligence up front, a lot of potential problems can be alleviated before they even arise.

  83. Seems like a lot of contractors are reacting very defensively about Mike Holmes’ contractor bashing. I’ve watched alot of his shows and it’s obvious to me that he is not referring to all or even a majority of contractors (despite this 70% ridiculous comment). I think people are forgetting that he isn’t just picking randomly from a population of houses that have had renos done and finding poor work everytime. He is picking the ones that have had the most poor work done otherwise there isn’t a show. Do you seriously think a show where he goes to a well built house with no problems would be popular? Well here we are with Kevin and Carol. There are no problems here, the contractor did good work at a reasonable price and on time! Roll end credits.

    Also the fact that he spends 10x what any normal person can afford is part of the fantasy appeal of the show. I don’t know too many people who watch the show and think they can get those results for cheap. I’m sure there are some but not many.

    I had a girlfriend and whenever her brothers needed a bit of money they produced some letterhead that looked official and call themselves contractors. They delighted in telling me how much they made to do absolute incompetent crap work! They didn’t care. They were untraceable with disposable phones etc.

Submit your comment

Comments posted here, may also appear in the print version of Canadian Contractor Magazine.

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message